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Disability Caregivers Reeling After Medicaid Changes

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As more and more states hand over the administration of Medicaid benefits to private companies through so-called “managed care,” people with disabilities are encountering problems.

Managed care is designed to save states money through contracts with private insurers to administer HMO-style health plans for Medicaid recipients.

But as Illinois and New Jersey switch to the new approach, beneficiaries with developmental disabilities are finding that going to the doctor now involves additional hurdles.

Caregivers indicate that many doctors they’ve had relationships with for years are no longer willing to accept the new Medicaid programs. What’s more, some say that the physicians they can get an appointment with are often inexperienced with treating people with disabilities.

Disability advocates say they understand the cost concerns that are driving the switch to managed care, but worry that quality could be at stake, reports the Chicago Tribune and the (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post. To read more click here and here.

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Comments (5 Responses)

  1. taniamorse85 says:

    California recently changed their “Medi-Cal” to managed care, and it has been mixed for me. I was able to find a doctor that I actually like better than my previous one. However, for the past couple of months, I have been trying to get some much-needed medical supplies, to no avail. The company doesn’t seem to understand when I tell them that not having these supplies could land me in the hospital with a raging infection. Surely paying for the supplies would be cheaper than paying a hospital bill!

  2. Sharanny says:

    Medicaid cuts and changes have already affected the disabled youth I serve. Everyday I deal with families who have medicaid waivers for their children who are told they can no longer receive respite or reshab services… theyre told there’s “just no money”. There are few doctors that can appropriately deal with medical issues related to disabilities.. and finding one that takes medicaid is a real problem for many of us. If we travel hundreds of miles and wait months for an appointment, we are usually met with a whopping bill that we can barely pay. Managed care is a scary and slippery slope. I can’t imagine what the children with disabilities with have to contend with in the not-so-distant future.

  3. seeandbesafe.com says:

    Recent changes in government-sponsored health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid have and will continue to result in monstrous disenfranchisement for the non-elderly disabled! Most politicians would like to believe that giving corporate control over things like Medicaid, prescription drugs etc. is more fiscally responsible. However, they often tend to neglect the fact that as fewer and fewer services, drugs, equipment and treatments go unpaid for more and more hospital stays, long-term care facility bills and major surgeries assert themselves. The new austerity measures sanctioned by this administration will continue to wreak havoc on the disabled community for years to come. You can best believe that when the next administration comes in they will be making a lot of changes but none of them will include reversing the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security “adjustments” made by this one. For some strange reason the guys in Washington always believe that big business is the answer to resolving all social issues. Some things are better handled by the government. We have to get a hold on American capitalism before it totally consumes us. I am by no means and anti-capitalists. As an entrepreneur and small business owner I believe that capitalism is great. But there are some things that should fall outside of the realm of business. If we’re not careful, one day we will go so far that when we call 911 to report a burglary, the operator will ask us for a credit card number before a squad car can be sent to the scene.

  4. vmgillen says:

    NY is going to MCOs under the 1115 Waiver… my experience with MCOs have shown that they are absolutely inappropriate for extra-ordinary populations… if change is needed, better would be development of more specialty clinics (YAI and UCP, for example). The kicker: the MCOs are presented as a “PEOPLE FIRST” plan. How the Commissioner can say that with a straight face is beyond me.

  5. disabilitiesrightsadvocate says:

    The face of Medicaid is ever changing, leaving consumers with the burden of figuring out what it all means. It is difficult to navigate the new Medicaid system even for the most savvy of people and leaves those who do not understand the language or restrictions, out in the cold. This is why advocates across the nation have banded together for the “My Medicaid Matters” rally, to be held September 21st at 12noon, on the Nation’s Capitol. This rally attempts to educate our leaders on the importance of Medicaid and how arbitrary budget cuts will destroy this program. For anyone who is able to make it to D.C. for this monumental rally, I urge you to do so and for those who cannot be at the rally, contact your representatives and tell them that “My Medicaid Matters”.

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